Jon Gruden was 'high' on Lions' list, according to report

USA TODAY Sports

It sounds like the Detroit Lions made a run at hiring Jon Gruden, but he wasn't interested in leaving ESPN.

Every time an NFL head coaching job opens up, Jon Gruden is inevitably mentioned as a potential candidate. Gruden hasn't coached since 2008, and he's extremely comfortable with his current job as an announcer for ESPN, but that hasn't stopped rumors from swirling about him potentially returning to coaching.

During this year's coaching carousel, Gruden made it pretty clear early on that he had no interest in leaving his job at ESPN. However, that apparently didn't stop the Detroit Lions from pursuing Gruden. Actually, the Detroit News' Bob Wojnowski reports that the Lions made a run at Gruden as recently as two days ago.

Others in the Lions organization craved a bigger splash, and according to a league source, one name was high on the list — Jon Gruden. The Lions explored the possibility right up until Monday night, when they got indications Gruden was intrigued, but not enough to leave the broadcast booth.

Much like the Gruden situation, the Lions were in contact with Tony Dungy early in their coaching search in order to find out if he had any interest in returning to coaching. Dungy is also content with his gig as a broadcaster, so he said no, but he did play a role in the Lions' search by recommending Jim Caldwell, who was hired as Detroit's head coach on Tuesday.

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